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The EUROCONTROL Network Manager continues to ensure more efficient, sustainable flights.

Over the past year, more than 4,500 tailored rerouting proposals have been identified by the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) Flight Efficiency Task Force, helping airspace users improve their flight planning.

The Task Force brings together the EUROCONTROL NM, airspace users and air navigation service providers (ANSPs). Its proposals have helped save aircraft operators more than 131,000 nautical miles, more than 798,000 kg fuel and over 113,000 EUR in route charges – while reducing CO2 emissions by at least 2,514 tonnes.

Their work has however become considerably more problematic following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which has closed or restricted airspace, disrupted traffic flows, cancelled flights and made re-routings for others necessary, adding a huge additional layer of complexity to the Network situation as the summer flight schedules start taking effect.

“In an environment where the unavailability of large amounts of airspace makes our work as Network Manager more and more challenging, we continue our endeavours to offer improved flight planning options within European airspace. Our focus is on the close collaboration with all aviation partners to optimise trajectories and minimise delays, costs and aviation’s environment footprint.”

Specific tools and collaboration for NM flight efficiency

EUROCONTROL NM’s automated group rerouting tool gives aircraft operators visibility on possible other options in the Network. The tool displays proposals to the originator of the flight plan taking into account their constraints through a set of pre-defined parameters set by each operator; it also factors in wider variables such as the weather and the latest state of the Network. The benefits for airspace users are evident to Vincent Hilligers:

"We have integrated NM’s tool into our daily routine and where repetitive opportunities exist in the company route development and we are now very close to optimum with that."

Vincent Hilligers ATM Regional Manager Europe KLM

Already during the pandemic, the improved network flight planning delivered more direct, ‘green’ flights due to a relaxation of 1,200 flight restrictions – the so-called Route Availability Document (RAD) measures - saving 26,000 nautical miles per day.

This close cooperation between the EUROCONTROL NM and airspace users continues and, during the past year, joint activities with ANSPs have resulted in improved routing options, better use of dynamic network capabilities in flight planning, more precise RAD definitions by ANSPs, and improved flight planning practices by airline operators.

Check out the Network Operations Flight Efficiency user manual